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Q. I am 10 weeks pregnant and have an odor with my vaginal discharge. The discharge is clear, and the odor seems to get worse after my husband and I have sex.
A. As long as the discharge is clear and/or whitish in color, I wouldn't worry. The horror-mones of pregnancy can drastically change your bodily odors, including the smell of your vaginal discharge. And, having intercourse will increase the amount of discharge, therefore increasing the odor.
I remember thinking during my first pregnancy that my discharge smelled almost medicinal. During my second, the odor was more like a sweaty, cheesy stink. The only thing that seemed to help lessen the odor was bathing…a lot.
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Q. I have just passed the 20 week mark, and for the last few weeks I feel like there are bubbles coming out of my vaginal lips. It freaks me out as I can't figure out why it feels this way. Where is the air coming from? I had a hemorrhage early on in the pregnancy that is finally gone, but every weird bubble feeling scares me. When I check there seems to be nothing coming out. Have you ever felt this sensation? I'm not sure I'm describing it very well. Am I just losing my mind?
A. Now that you mention it, I remember having that feeling, too. One of my girlfriends had her "bubbles" actually make noise. It's bad enough trying to explain uncontrollable gas during pregnancy, but to have vaginal farts as well? Oh, that's bad.
These vaginal bubbles form because, yes, air does get in there. During pregnancy the vagina becomes more elastic and loose to accommodate the passing of a baby. You may not even notice, perhaps while bending down to pick up a pencil off the floor, that your vagina opens up a little bit and some air gets in. This air gets pushed out with movement or with the seemingly constant flow of vaginal discharge. Surprise, surprise!
Q. I am constantly itching and burning in my vaginal area. The doctor checked and said there is no infection. Could the discharge (which is pretty thick now) be causing all this burning and itching? I am 35 weeks pregnant.
A. I can certainly sympathize with your situation. I had some first-hand experience in this area. My doctor told me it's hard to diagnose and treat some bacterial infections brought on by the excessive heat and moisture during pregnancy. When my situation got really bad, my doctor prescribed Lidocaine jelly, like they use at the dentist, to use at night so I wouldn't rub myself raw with the itching. A few things I found helpful in the relief and healing of my condition were: frequent bathing (essential right before bed); frequent changes of loose, cotton underwear throughout the day (I went through three pairs a day); and wearing loose, breathable clothing in the crotch as often as possible.
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Q. I had a baby about seven weeks ago and I have this discharge that has a smell to it. It's a yellow-like gooey stuff. Is this normal seven weeks post-delivery? It stopped at one point and before it stopped the smell was worse, but now it's not as strong. Is this normal?
A. A yellow, gooey discharge with a foul odor could be an indicator of an infection. If the discharge has not ceased, I think you should contact your OB/GYN to check it out ASAP.
Q. I am 34 1/2 weeks pregnant. For the last week or two, when I have stimulated my G-spot while masturbating, I've squirted some fluid when I came, something I've never been able to do before. At first I thought that it was cool, but now I'm worried that maybe it's amniotic fluid leaking and not female ejaculate. It's clear/whitish and fairly tasteless. Is there a way to tell the difference?
-Anonymous, New York
A. If this discharge is only being expelled after orgasm and doesn't continue in a slow leak, it's probably not amniotic fluid. When your water breaks it usually isn't just one gush with no further leakage. The fluid is usually clear, though it can be bloody, or yellow, or green-tinged. If you are unsure if your water has actually broken, smell the fluid – it should smell sweet.
In some cases a woman may have a small hole in the amniotic sac that very slowly leaks fluid. Sometimes this kind of hole can heal on its own. If you think you may be leaking amniotic fluid, you should report it to your OB/GYN. Your doctor can do a test to be sure. One option is the nitrazine test, during which amniotic fluid is placed on a strip of paper that changes color to reflect the pH level of the fluid. Or, you may have the ferning test, in which a sample of the fluid is taken from the vagina and examined under a microscope. The amniotic fluid creates a fern-like pattern that's visible under the microscope.
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Q. I am 11 weeks pregnant and taking 600mg a day of Prometrium. I have been experiencing a yellow and green vaginal discharge, and sometimes bloody mucous as well. I have no burning or itching and there is no particular odor either. Could this be due to the high level of progesterone I'm on, or is this a sign of infection?
-Stephanie, New York
A. Although I'm no medical expert, I don't think your discharge has anything to do with the use of Prometrium. Since you've had blood accompanying the discharge, you should report it to your OB/GYN and do ask about the yellow and green discharge while you are at it. It could be a low-grade infection and may need treatment.
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